12th March 2015
A massive £235m of consumers’ cash could be lying dormant in the closed energy accounts of some 2.7m homes despite efforts by the industry to reunite customers with their money, claims new research.
The analysis from comparison service uSwitch.com found that almost a quarter, at 23% of bill payers who have switched supplier admitted they do not know whether they have credit remaining in previous energy accounts.
The figures, from a survey of 2,000 UK adults, also revealed that more than half, at 52%, who changed supplier shut their old account in credit, with four out of five, at 79% successfully reclaiming an average of £88 each.
Some 24% said they received more than £100, with some claiming as much as £300.
Over half, at 53%, of those who have reclaimed credit used it to pay for bills and rent, while a quarter, at 24% put it into savings.
The survey findings, published six months after the launch of the energy industry’s ‘My Energy Credit’ campaign, suggest that more can be done to help consumers who have moved or switched supplier to claim any money left behind.
There is no time limit on legitimate claims and consumers should check with any previous suppliers to see if they are due a refund advised uSwitch.com.
Tom Lyon, energy expert at the group said: “With six in 10 people admitting they are rationing their energy use to save money, any unclaimed funds could go a long way to helping pay this winter’s bills.
“We urge the industry to continue with its campaign to help reunite as many consumers as possible with money from old accounts. Consumers should check with any previous suppliers to see if they’re due a refund. If you’re about to switch, make sure to take meter readings and give them to both companies for a final statement. This will ensure that your old account is closed properly and you receive any refund due.”